By Jim Misunas
LARNED — More than 100 households and 305 people will benefit from the 2011 Fort Larned Lions Club Christmas Basket Project. Households range from single adults to single-parent families with several children.
Fort Larned Lions Club member Ron Vancleave said Larned Middle School students donated more than 1,200 cans of food to outdistance their neighbors at Larned High School.
“Our local school system provides plenty of welcome assistance.” Vancleave said. “We’ve received great local response from the citizens. The Christmas Basket Project is one of the club’s service projects.”
Food purchased with cash donations pay for items at Dillons and B&B Meats in Larned.
“Everything that is purchased is bought locally,” Vancleave said.
Lions Club members will prepare the deliveries at 3 p.m. Saturday at Carr Auction. Deliveries are scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday to Larned, Burdett and Garfield. Cal-Maine Food of Chase has donated 240 egg boxes that will streamline delivery.
“It’s great we can help people in other parts of Pawnee County because it’s a county-wide project,” Vancleave said.
Volunteer help is requested Saturday and Sunday, according to Steven Lewis, Lions Club member. To volunteer Saturday or Sunday, contact Lewis, (620) 285-1609; or e-mail email@example.com. Cash donations may be sent to the Fort Larned Lions Club Christmas, P.O. Box 205, Larned, KS, 67550.
Lions Club members will not leave baskets if no one is home. Some recipients make other arrangements for delivery.
The Christmas Basket Project enters its 38th year of service to those families and individuals in need in Pawnee County.
The Fort Larned Lions Club members provides food baskets. Business partners Pawnee Valley Community Hospital Auxiliary and Larned USD 495 students help provide toys for all children ages 12-and-under and clothing to children ages 13-and-under.
Vancleave said clothes are chosen for youngsters after ages and sizes are collected.
The Fort Larned Lions Club members begin gathering names in October. Members visit people to start the selection process with the goal of completing the interview process. The Pawnee Valley Community Hospital Auxiliary coordinated an Angel Tree, which assisted with donated clothing items.
Each family is interviewed. Names are checked for correct addresses and information on family members concerning income, need, number of people in the household, special diet requirements, ages and gender of any children as well as clothing sizes and hobbies.